In enacting the Refugee Act of 1980, Congress created a special pathway for refugee families separated during the difficult and often chaotic journey to safety. Through the so-called “follow-to-join” process, refugees already resettled in the United States can petition to have spouses and children reunited with them in safety. Notwithstanding Congress’ intent that these families be reunited as quickly as possible, the average processing time for follow-to-join petitions has more than quadrupled under the Trump Administration.
On October 22, 2020, IRAP filed a lawsuit in partnership with two Darfuri refugees resettled in the Baltimore area who have been waiting for a decision on their petitions for their spouses and children to join them in the United States for more than a decade, collectively. Almost a year later, the lawsuit was successful in finally reuniting these two families.
Follow the Case
Adam v. Pompeo ComplaintView Document +
Press Release: IRAP Files Challenge to Years-Long Delays in Reuniting Refugee Families
10/22/2020View Press Release +
Families in Limbo: What the Biden Administration Can Do Now to Address Unreasonable Delays in Refugee and Asylee Family Reunification…
This report outlines how the “Follow-to-Join” process has been hampered by actions taken by the Trump Administration and how the Biden Administration can improve the process.